Before talking to the individual about dementia, it is recommended that you put yourself in their shoes and consider the circumstances from their perspective. Ask yourself questions such as “have they noticed the symptoms?”, “do they just think the problems are natural?”, and “why would they not see a GP themselves?” This is an important exercise as it provides an insight into the individual’s thinking process and can form the basis of the initial conversation.

A familiar place that the individual considers safe can help when having this discussion, it allows them to speak freely and self-reflect. Start the conversation gently by asking if they are feeling any different to usual or if they have noticed any recent changes. Make sure that they know you are raising these concerns as you care for them, if this is not established, they may become defensive and withdrawn.

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